Sam Rowlands reports back after a summer working at the Isle of Wight Festival, 2000 Trees, Truck and Brighton’s very own Pride.
The summer is coming to an end and the weather is beginning to show signs of returning to its very stubborn British temperament.
Over the past few months, though, when the sun was (mostly) still shining bright, BIMM provided me with the opportunity to assist them in various roles at various festivals this year.
It was my second year returning to the Isle Of Wight Festival as an editor for the event’s official in-house magazine, Isla.
I has been a great experience both years. For some of the team it was a first look at how press runs at large scale events, liaising with industry professionals such as PRs, tour managers and the artists themselves.
Just some of the team’s interviews included Tom Chaplin, Imelda May and The Sherlocks. After all the hard work put in by everyone at the festival, we returned to Brighton to write and design the magazine, which should be available soon. The line-up at Isle of Wight is always fantastic; I may have even shed a tear watching Run DMC.
My next festival of 2017 was 2000 Trees, which is one of the best festivals I have ever attended. With a capacity of just 7000, it has a sense of real community. BIMM was running the Forest Stage, which featured both BIMM and non-BIMM acts.
We had Frank Carter, Pulled Apart By Horses, Hundred Reasons and Tigercub perform acoustic sets on our stage.
Frank Carter was great, I didn’t know he had such a beautiful singing voice! He was really lovely after the set as well.
Next, it was off to Truck Festival – which is my personal favourite in the UK. Despite the mud this year (and trust me, there was was a lot of mud) the festival was great.
The BIMM stage is a converted barn, with a stage – and a bar, thank goodness. It was my second time at Truck with BIMM and I have also worked the festival freelance in the past. It was actually the first festival I ever worked press at six years ago, so it holds some great memories me.
For both Truck and 2000 Trees, I was managing our press tent, with the help of some other wonderful students. We were handed a 5m x 5m bell tent and thousands of inflatables to decorate it with. Most of these were jungle-themed, so the press tent became known as ‘The Fungle’.
Before the festival, I was left to liaise with the PRs and tour managers of bands to arrange interview times. Once the bands arrived we sat them down on our amazing inflatable sofa, let them loose in the props box and began our interviews and photo shoots. The reception to The Fungle was great and I can’t wait to be back next year.
Working freelance in event promotion, journalism and stage management has given me many valuable skills, the majority of which are transferable in the music industry.
Last year at BIMM we did a module on PR, which was excellent. When I was invited to be on the PR team for Brighton Pride I was stoked.
Pride is a massive festival and gave me a chance to try out something else that I was interested in. I had a great day looking after the press and doing social media.
To top it all off, we were also in charge of escorting photographers in and out of the pit. The photos from Years and Years were incredible, I have never seen pyrotechnics like that before, or that much glitter. After I’d finished my shift I got to have a gin and tonic and boogie to the Pet Shop Boys.
It’s been a great summer of festivals and even though I have been sunburnt, freezing cold, hungover and tired, I assure you that festivals are the best thing in the entire world and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.